Trump picks Andrew Puzder to lead US Department of Labor
Donald Trump has chosen an anti-regulation fast-food executive, opposed to a higher minimum wage, to lead the US Department of Labor.
The president-elect said Andrew Puzder, the latest tycoon added to his cabinet, had a "record fighting for workers".
Mr Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, which operates the Carl's Jr and Hardee's, has often argued a higher minimum wage would kill jobs.
The Labor Department regulates wages along with workplace safety.
Mr Puzder has criticised a new Labor Department rule aimed at extending overtime pay to more than four million US workers.
He has also dismissed a nationwide campaign by fast-food workers for a $15 minimum wage, more than double the current federal level.
Mr Trump, in a statement released by his transition team, said Mr Puzder would make workers "safer and more prosperous".
"He will save small businesses from the crushing burdens of unnecessary regulations that are stunting job growth and suppressing wages," the president-elect said.
In the same statement, Mr Puzder said "the right government policies can result in more jobs and better wages for the American worker".
Democrats and their allies have been critical of the Californian's appointment.
Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO union, said Mr Puzder's "business record is defined by fighting against working people".
Mr Puzder was one of Mr Trump's earliest campaign financiers, contributing more than $330,000 to his White House bid, reports the Washington Post.
He opposes the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, claiming it has left working families with less money to spend dining out, spawning a "restaurant recession".
Mr Puzder has brushed off allegations that his fast-food restaurants' racy commercials - featuring scantily clad models gorging on burgers - are sexist.
"I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis," he once said. "I think it's very American."
Mr Trump's latest cabinet appointment came amid his Twitter spat with the head of a local United Steelworkers union in Indiana.
In other developments:
- The president-elect spent 30 minutes with victims and families in Columbus, Ohio, of a campus attack by a Somali refugee
- Mr Trump plans to remain executive producer of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, which returns in January hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger, reports Variety